Last updated on September 23, 2022
The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog. However, the cute Aussie slowly transitioned from a working dog to a family pet thanks to its intelligence and wonderful personality. As the breed’s popularity constantly rises, more people think about becoming proud Aussie owners. Still, not all of them can afford to keep their dog inside the home. So, many would ask, can Australian Shepherds live outside? Read on to find out.
Can Australian Shepherds live outside?
The answer to this question would be: yes, Australian Shepherds can live outside. After all, the Aussie comes from proud herding parents, the Pyrenean Shepherd and the Border Collie. So, genetics worked well for the Aussie. In addition, this dog has a double-layered coat that will protect them from harsh weather. The outer layer waterproofs the Aussie, while the inner coat is an insulator. So, Aussies do well in both freezing winters and scorching summers. So, they are well equipped to live outside. However, whether they should, is entirely another question.
Australian Shepherds are very clingy. They are typical Velcro dogs. They bond with their owners and want to be constantly by their side. When left alone, the Aussies suffer from separation anxiety and boredom. Trust me on this one; you don’t want a bored Aussie. If this dog has nothing to do, it will get destructive and loud. So, leaving your dog outside unprepared will lead to an all-night barking and chewing stuff in the yard. Hence, if you’re planning to put your Aussie outside, you better prepare yourself and the dog.
So, if you can, let your Australian Shepherd stay inside. The closer to you, the better. Aussies are happiest when sleeping in the same room with their owners. If you’re ready to do this, your best option is to buy a dog crate. It will take some time to crate train the Aussie, but it will be worth it. These dogs love having personal space to retreat, relax, and keep their belongings. However, if you cannot place the dog inside the house, read on to find out how to prepare it for living outdoors.
How to prepare my Australian Shepherd to live outside?
So, you’ve decided that your Australian Shepherd will live outside. Well, now it’s time to prepare the dog. The first thing you need to do is secure your yard. Fix all holes in your fence and lock your gate. Australian Shepherds have a curious mind. Hence, your dog might run away and roam the streets. Security is essential if you don’t plan to neuter or spay your Aussie. When the dog reaches puberty or gets into heat, it might escape because of nature’s call.
Next, buy or build a dog house. It needs to be well insulated and large enough to accommodate the Australian Shepherd. Investing in a well-built dog house will cost you more, but it will save you plenty of trouble. Also, it would be wise to get a dog house with a removable roof. It’s easier to clean, and it can cool the dog in the summertime.
Choose the best spot in the yard and place the dog house there. Bear in mind that this spot needs to be away from direct sunlight, so choose a shady place. Also, make sure it is well ventilated but not significantly exposed to strong winds. Lastly, try to select a spot under the eaves, so rain or snow won’t be an issue.
We can move to the final preparations after you’ve done all these steps. First, make sure the dog has a constant supply of drinking water. Next, make sure your dog has something to do over the night. Aussies get anxious and bored when alone. So, placing some toys and puzzles in the yard is a great idea
Also, if your Australian Shepherd lives outside, you will need to regularly groom it because outdoor dogs shed more and get dirty. Hence, they need more care.
Is it good to let my Australian Shepherd live outside?
While it is perfectly safe to leave your Australian Shepherd outside, there are some issues you need to consider. First, your Aussie won’t stop trying to escape, as these brilliant dogs are also curious. Also, Aussies tend to bark. Now it is true they can be trained to bark less, but your dog will always alarm you if it sees something suspicious due to their protective nature. This alertness is good for you, but I don’t think your neighbors will be happy if your dog makes noise in the yard.
Australian Shepherds are herders. Herding is deeply embedded into their genes. So, even when the Aussie became a family pet, the herding instinct remained intact. This will be great if you live on a farm, but let’s assume you don’t. Then, the Australian Shepherd will try and herd everything that moves. This includes children, cats, or other dogs. Just imagine your dog chasing a cat around the yard while you sleep. It does not sound pleasant, I know.
Also, Aussies like to dig. So, if you have a garden, you might wake up in the morning only to see it destroyed. However, Australian Shepherds are intelligent enough and obedient to be trained not to excavate.
Lastly, put your dog to live outside once it reaches adulthood. Puppies are gentle and more susceptible to diseases. Also, they need more attention due to separation anxiety. So, while your new best friend is still a baby, place it indoors.
To summarize, the Australian Shepherd can live outside. However, it would be better for both of you if your pup slept indoors. Then, the dog won’t be exposed to heat and cold, there will be no separation anxiety, and you will have a watchful guard near you. So, make your dog happy and let it sleep near you if possible. Australian Shepherds are absolute sweethearts. They deserve all the happiness in the world.